Raymond Arke | News Editor
A little-talked-about, but crucial, man on campus just got recognized for his hard work. John Kachur, the manager of Duquesne’s Barnes & Noble bookstore, was recently given the Campus Leadership Award by Barnes & Noble’s national team. Kachur was one of five managers to receive the award out of the 700 store managers nationwide.
Kachur has been a Barnes & Noble employee for 20 years, spending the past 11 as the manager at Duquesne’s branch.
“I am proud of working for Barnes & Noble and proud of our association with Duquesne University,” he said. “It’s the combination of the two that has made my career so rewarding.”
Kachur summarized his job as being “part of the support system for students on campus” by overseeing the distributing of textbooks and other necessary supplies.
“My first priority is to run a friendly, efficient and professional retail store that the Duquesne community can be proud of,” he said.
One of the best elements of his work, he said, is working with his student employees.
“The most fun part of the job is seeing student workers — we have up to 30 working for us at any one time — mature before my eyes,” Kachur said. “People start working for us as eager and nervous freshmen, then come back to visit after graduation as assured and confident adults, running businesses and raising families of their own. And when they say they learned something by working at the bookstore, that’s very rewarding.”
Kachur said that his winning of the Campus Leadership Award was “a complete surprise.”
“I was sitting in an audience of about 800 people when I learned about it at our annual conference in Florida on April 10,” Kachur said. “In front of that crowd, my regional manager and territory vice president were welcomed to the stage. Only when they started speaking did I realize they were talking about me.”
The whole experience meant a lot to Kachur.
“My regional manager, John Chaump, gave a short speech about my outreach efforts on campus, which led into a video of congratulations from people at Duquesne. Then I was called to the stage, received a nice plaque and a round of applause,” he said. “In combination with celebrating my 20th year with B&N, the whole thing was quite moving. It feels good to be recognized, of course, but more so, it inspires me to want to live up to that recognition every day I’m here.”
Since a lot of his work goes on behind the scenes, Kachur wanted students to know what he does.
“I would like students to know that we really are doing our best to serve them and the whole campus community by running the best bookstore, clothing and gift store and café we possibly can,” he said. “We’ve implemented so many services over my time here, such as our rental program, price matching, the ability to see your booklist within your DORI account, new student e-mail campaigns, de-stress and other in-store events, our mobile app and more.”
Serving students is crucial to his role as manager.
“We are here for students and because of students. I take the responsibility of helping students very seriously, but I try to do it with humor and kindness. I treat every person through the door exactly as I’d want my own family to be treated,” Kachur said. “We’re not curing cancer or doing brain surgery, but who knows, one of our students might be before we know it. Therefore, we need to help everyone with patience and professionalism and more than a bit of fun thrown in.”
Kachur encouraged students to reach out to him if any problems arise.
“As I like to say when I welcome families during FAST, there’s no issue that can arise that we can’t figure out a solution to, so never hesitate to ask for me or any other manager in the store, because we will find a way to help out,” he said.